Busy summer ahead for NCU youth cricketers.
2017 will be the busiest yet for all the young Knights age-group players as the Union builds its summer match programme.
First up is a match for the Emerging Knights who will take on the MCC during their annual visit over two days on 21/22 June.
At the younger age-groups, in addition to the usual Interprovincial Tournaments:
Under 13 - 3/4/5 July in Dublin
Under 15 - 28/29/30 June in the North West
Under 17 - 10/11/12 July in Belfast
there will be matches at Under 11 played on a home and away basis on 15/16/17 August.
Last season saw the Young Knights dip their toes in the water at the Taunton festival when they travelled with an Under 14 squad.
They are repeating that trip in 2017 and taking an Under 11 squad along for good measure.
Under 11 Taunton Festival - 22-25 July
Under 14 Taunton Festival - 23-28 July
Another of last year’s trips is also being repeated and expanded with the Under 17s joined by the Under 13s on a trip to London at the end of June:
Under 13 - London 26-29 June
Under 17 - London 26-29 June
Last year the Under 17s participation in the St. Albans Cricket Festival was facilitated by former NCU and Ireland player Mark Patterson and plans are tentatively in place for his school side, St. Joseph’s Ipswich, to come to Belfast on 5-7 July for return fixtures.
So with an expanding match schedule it is clear that the NCU wishes to build on and perhaps even add to last year’s success when it lifted both the Under 15 and Under 17 Inter-pro titles and the programme in place for this coming season will provide ample and ideal preparation for those matches.
And as if any incentive was required there is always the thought that a Young Knights party will be travelling to South Africa at Easter 2018 and who wouldn't want to be a part of that.